Cargo size and shape

I found myself wondering, if each cargo rack is twice the size of the previous one, then is there a shape that maintains the same aspect ratio and can be stacked efficiently.

It's not obvious, because when you chop something in half, you usually change its shape. You have to chose the relative dimensions exactly right. (In fact they are in the ratio of the cube root of 2, like European paper sizes use the square root of 2.)

So here is my guess as to what the various sizes of cargo racks look like.
142688
 
Yeah, that's pretty much how I imagine they actually fit together. It's impossible to simply look at the internal volume of a ship and declare how many cargo racks it can take, as you need to consider that they all need to be standardised to ensure cross-compatibility between different ships.
 
I don't think they have any uniform size or shape, except at the scale required for the storage and manipulation of individual canisters.

Plenty of ways to assemble shelving or lay track.
True, but I imagine some cargo would be palatalized in batches of over one tonne. Plus ships would be able to haul stuff that weighed more than a tonne.

I had to make assumptions about the relationship between mass and volume. I made a tonne one cubic metre, which is the density of water. Gold shipments will use a lot of packing peanuts. ;)

Nice, but size 8 missing?
It's hiding in plain sight. The whole block is size 8.
 

Robert Maynard

Volunteer Moderator
True, but I imagine some cargo would be palatalized in batches of over one tonne. Plus ships would be able to haul stuff that weighed more than a tonne.
Pallets would not seem to exist in terms of ship cargo - as we can eject a Type-9's full load one canister at a time - and the cargo module dimensions need to be based on multiples of the size of the canister (plus structure, "sea"fastening, loading/unloading transport, etc.).
 
But also far fewer ways to arrange a fighter assembly bay or a shield generator; remember that optional internals don't just have cargo bays installed in them.
This is true; there are certainly some limits to the configurations and dimensions that would be possible. Thought the fighter bay's lower dimensions are already explicitly defined by the hangar door/ship models, unlike most other pieces of equipment.

True, but I imagine some cargo would be palatalized in batches of over one tonne.
Maybe for some applications, but this doesn't seem to be the case with any plilotable ship, as we can quickly and easily manipulate cargo in one ton increments.

I had to make assumptions about the relationship between mass and volume. I made a tonne one cubic metre, which is the density of water. Gold shipments will use a lot of packing peanuts. ;)
A canister is physically 2m*1m and roughly cyndrical, so about ~1.5m^2 in volume, but they cannot likely be stacked more densely than one every two-cubic meters. Either you'd need to about double the volume of your shapes, or we'd have to assume that the cargo loading/unloading/manipulation mechanisms are stripping cargo out of canisters to store in bulk and then recaning them any time cargo is jettisoned (plausible) or lost (not so much).

But yes, denser materials wouldn't be filling a canister.

Seems like cargo has been standardized into one ton units regardless of the density. Maybe they compress the less dense stuff?
There aren't many commodities on the list that would be less dense than ~700kg/m^3 and those that would could simply be ballasted to maintain a uniform mass per canister.
 
This is true; there are certainly some limits to the configurations and dimensions that would be possible. Thought the fighter bay's lower dimensions are already explicitly defined by the hangar door/ship models, unlike most other pieces of equipment.
While there might be some degree of customisability, I'd say it's unlikely that significant portions of something like a shield generator could be rearranged trivially. Having to completely strip down, redesign a layout and reassemble a module isn't exactly the poster child of "modular design" and might not even be within reach of a simple agricultural station.

The hangar isn't necessarily directly above the hangar bay doors. For example, the Anaconda can mount a hangar bay in either its class 7, any of its 3 class 6s or even any of its class 5s - that's 7 potential locations within the ship that a hangar could be mounted in that all have to be connected to the hangar doors via an oversized SLF-capable internal monorail system. The hangar limits do, however, place limits on the potential minimum dimensions of a class 5 and above bays as they have to support the size of a fighter plus whatever space is needed for the actual assembly plant around them, not to mention the compressed material packs that the fighters are made out of and the telepresence suite.
 
As I said above, I feel that the 1 tonne canisters is just FDev simplifying things to make the game easier to write and less confusing to play. I doubt they put much thought into how big a cannister had to be. 700kg/m^3 seems very low as a design parameter.

There is a good case for standardising, either like I suggest or as 1 tonne cannisters. The hull of ships has to be designed to hold a certain volume, but the engines have to drive a certain mass. It is inevitable that a standard density must be specified.

In reality , of course, there would be no problem flying with a hold full of light cargo. You'd get more jump range. The reverse is not possible; gold has to be packed in larger containers than its actual volume. In reality you could pack it all in one cannister, but you can only take that one cannister -- your hold is effectively full.

Edit: moving hangers around is also hand-waving for game simplicity. It could be limited to a single class 6 or a single class 5, but that would be needlessly annoying. FDev aims for fun first and accuracy second.

Edit 2: Things such as shield generators are likely to have a density over 1000kg/m^3, and therefore their exact layout doesn't matter, only their mass. They would include some crawl spaces for maintenance.
 
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Robert Maynard

Volunteer Moderator
As I said above, I feel that the 1 tonne canisters is just FDev simplifying things to make the game easier to write and less confusing to play. I doubt they put much thought into how big a cannister had to be. 700kg/m^3 seems very low as a design parameter.
Given that ships can transport canisters of hydrogen - and liquid hydrogen has a density of 70.8kg/m³ - the nett volume of a canister would need to be of the order of 14.1m³.
 
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